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Go from beginner to advanced in 2 weeks? - Page 2

post #31 of 47
You may want to talk to Harald Harb about this, he has camps for such skiers, and they include alignment and boot fitting. I don't know if he would agree that she could go from beginner to advanced in 2 weeks, though. You could contact him at www.harbskisystems.com
Also, a pal of mine who skis sometimes with Rusty Guy says that Rusty really knows his stuff, and would not hesitate to send students his way. So maybe look him up.
post #32 of 47
I think it's absolutely possible. Provided someone has the basics down, is out of a wedge, and meets the requirements Bob Peters set forth.
post #33 of 47
Yeah with today's skis, it is really easy to progress to mid- to advanced intermediate even advance through 30-50 days. I am on my 30+ days on skis and I fit level 5-6 on Bob Peter's chart: parallel turns, comfortable on all blues (including the big ones like those on Kmart and Mammoth), handle pretty well on easier blacks (Berkshire east, Ski Butternut, and Jiminy peak), some bumps give me no problem but the big moguls still intimidate the heck out of me though. However, I have to say that watching some expert skiers, I am still a way off. There is a jump between the way an advanced skier ski and the experts. There is less of a gap between and upper intermediate and those that are called advanced from what I can notice. The upper advanced to expert skiers have perfect techniques from what I can see. That can only take time and lots of practice. I don't think there is anyway for a strong intermediate like myself to have those techniques without a lot of practice and lessons.
post #34 of 47
seems like "advanced" runs the gamut from "comfortable on blues" to "near expert"

doesn't sound very precise to me

guess it's hard to be honest with one's self
post #35 of 47
I think advanced refers to anything beyond the blues. If you can ski groomed black runs in the West with good form and grace, I'd say you can call yourseelf an advanced skier.

Your def. may differ, but that don't make it right.
post #36 of 47
Don't know where you live. If you live anywhere within driving distance to Mte Ste Anne in Quebec, go there for a ski week. Four hours of lessons a day and if you don't carve you will starve. Did many weeks there to get to the advanced level. Best week was when the world cup was there and we got a lesson on every trip down from a worldcupper the likes of stenmark for example. Our instructor had been on the Canadian team and all the worldcuppers did him a favor by leading us down the mountain. It was not so much the way they made their turns as the lines they could pick. Crank any ski over and it will turn.

So is it technique or experience finding that line which makes the trip fun and relatively easy?
post #37 of 47
Originally Posted by MilesB
You may want to talk to Harald Harb about this, he has camps for such skiers, and they include alignment and boot fitting. I don't know if he would agree that she could go from beginner to advanced in 2 weeks, though. You could contact him at www.harbskisystems.com
Also, a pal of mine who skis sometimes with Rusty Guy says that Rusty really knows his stuff, and would not hesitate to send students his way. So maybe look him up.
Anyone but me find it ironic to see HH and Rusty both recommended in the same post? Well done, MilesB!

Not that I disagree, btw. Having had the benefit of Rusty's coaching myself, I know that he has an exceptional ability to help folks from never-evers to high-level skiers.

HH has also been successful with many, as I understand it, regardless of the difference of opinion expressed by many here.

I still think that the ESA is the best bet. Ya'll come!!!
post #38 of 47
If you've never ever skied, but road a motorcycle for years, or played hockey, or engaged in some other similar sport, have some ability to understand the mechanics, I think it's quite possible that you could get to "advanced" in 14 days of skiing, with proper teaching. Many of the skills are transferable from different sports.
post #39 of 47

EpicSki Academy

EpicSki Academy is the only independent coaching program in the U.S. that is open to all skiers, from never-evers to instructors. That and being invented by, supported by, and dedicated to the members of www.epicski.com differentiates our program from the others. Our focus is on universal principles of good skiing and mastery learning, not marketing hype. We are the lowest-cost, highest-value in instruction out there. Classes are small, averaging 4.5 students per group. Coaches are nationally recognized, and at the top of their game. As Stu Campbell, one of the regulars in our coaching line-up, noted recently, ESA is a coach's wet dream, because the students are so demanding, challenging, and so turned on to learning. You know the old saying, when the student is ready the teacher appears? In the case of ESA, the kind of students who show up attract the best coaches, who consider the week a "busman's holiday" away from the ordinary grind of a traditional ski school.

We have room for a few more students in 2005. We'll be announcing the dates and place for ESA 2006 January 27, at the ESA '05 Banquet.
post #40 of 47
I think it is too easy to split hairs here. The basic question is not out of line. Forget bickering about the definition of "expert" vs "advanced" vs whatever. The simple answer (roughly in line with what Bob P. said) is that with a week or two of really good instruction, someone who is fit and motivated can improve both their skills and their confidence dramatically. Whatever level someone ends up at, they will have a broader and deeper set of tools to handle different snow conditions - and thereby just plain have more fun.

A great deal depends on your time and money constraints. The "easy" road is to find a great instructor and book a bunch of privates. Someone with a reputation for both teaching excellence and technical skiing excellence. As others have noted, EpicSki is a good place to look. Based on my experience and talking with other people, the Ski Mag top 100 is the real deal as well. I have taken a number of privates from George Mosher at Targhee (consistently rated in the top 100). Every day, I have walked away with at least one major defect removed (well, reduced : ) or one new tool in my tool-box. Had fun too. (note: bang for your buck, Targhee and George are a tough to beat combo vs. many of the really big resort ski schools). I think Targhee has a couple other people on the list this year as well. People rave about the famous Deb Armstrong's teaching and she is consistently on the same list - although, sadly she is currently ill. Every single EpicSki Academy attendee I've talked to has been thrilled. The key point is that with a bit of homework and planning, you can find a great learning situation.

Six half day or two-thirds day private or small-group lessons from a top instructor will certainly move your skiing up a few notches. Loosely, think in terms of 2 days learning/tuning a couple of basic skills you don't have. Two days dropping a couple of bad habbits. And two days learning skills for different conditions. If someone has the stamina for it, more days equal more learning.

I have been skiing 5-6 years. I am very, very far from what I (or any other rational person) would consider an "expert" skier. However, I can manage my way safely and comfortably on most ski area slopes under most conditions. And I have lots of fun doing it (maybe I'm an "expert" funner???). No way would that have happened without some excellent and focused multi-day instruction over the past few years.

Forget the dictionary hair-splitting. If you can afford it, and she'd really be into it, find an appropriate multiday lesson situation for your wife & give her a great gift. It'll almost certainly up the fun factor. That's what counts...
post #41 of 47
No matter how high your level of athleticism, it takes time to get to know the snow. I've been skiing for 10 years in the east and I have to say every year I experience conditions that are new to me and require new skill blends to negotiate. That's why I don't think anyone can become really good in a matter of weeks.
post #42 of 47
Obviously, you want to get "as advance as possible".

I believe the problem is going to be strength. 4 days of instruction 3 times would be much better for 90% of the people than trying to get it done in 2 weeks. Especially if you live in the low lands and are going to the mountains.

This would also give her time to practice between camps. Even if 1 were put off until next year I would rather do 3 camps of reasonable length.

I don't know anything about the Epic Ski camps, but I read good things.

Harb at Solvista does have it dialed in. I have sent people there before and they improve rapidly and have been very satisfied.
post #43 of 47
To me, it seems that all this discussion is somewhat overly caught up in vague definitions of "expert" and advanced. There's a huge range of different skiing skills, including things like carving, moguls, steeps, trees, air, powder (unless you live in the east!), crud, ice, slush, routefinding/mountaineering, etc. Obviously there's some overlap between all these, and some skills are "universal", but there are also very different things.

Perhaps to be an expert you need to master all of these. And that's certainly not possible in 2 weeks, if only because it's unlikely you'll get powder, crud, ice, and carving practice in a single two-week period. Me, I can't carve particularly well on steep groomed runs (I just never ski them!), but I can zipperline steep bumps with some measure of style, and ski tight trees in almost any conditions.

There's no question that you can master a lot of these skills in a couple weeks. And if your goal is to ski any expert run and trees (though perhaps not the steepest and tightest woods) reasonably well in packed powder conditions, 2 weeks is certainly sufficient provided that you're athletic, motivated, and fearless. With these three qualifications and 2 weeks to learn, you should be able to outski around 95% or so of the skiers at a typical resort (not at places like alta or MRG perhaps!). You do have to have decent packed powder snow conditions as you learn -- both to avoid the complications of other snow types and to cushion the hundreds of falls you're going to take! Neither tahoe or the east coast in the past couple of weeks would qualify.

If you want to learn to ski bumps and trees and ungroomed stuff -- basically to be able to ski anything on the mountain, even if you don't carve it perfectly, here's my advice. This is essentially the way I learned. For the first few days, take lessons in the mornings and ski in the afternoons. Your goal at this point is to get to the point where you can make decent parallel turns and have good balance -- above all learn to be forward on your skis. At this point (after roughly 5 days) you should be able to ski any groomed trail on the mountain, though on the steeper stuff you'll be skidding a lot.

Then start skiing the widest, least steep bump run on the mountain (preferably with not-too-huge bumps if you can find them). Just ski it -- you'll probably fall on literally every single turn at this point. After a day or two of doing this, you'll be able to link a few turns together while skiing close to the fall line. Take another lesson or two at this point in the mornings. Progress up to steeper bumps and keep trying to take aggressive lines closer to the fall line, even if it means you fall a ton -- i.e. many times per run. If you're not falling often, you're not being aggressive enough.

After about 10 total days, if you can reliably link together a dozen or two turns in the bumps while taking an aggressive line, it's time to start with runs that have natural obstacles. This could be ungroomed rock-strewn slopes or more likely the trees. Here you have no choice to be a little more cautious, but stay as aggressive as possible. This is similar to mogul skiing in a way -- you have to make quick turns in tight places, but it won't have the evenness or rhythm of a good bump run and obviously is less forgiving. Again, start with shallow slopes -- you learn better at first by skiing an ultra-aggresive line right in the fall line on a shallow slope than you do skiing further from the fall line on a steeper slope.

In the evenings you'll want to spend time thinking about your skiing in a serious way. Instructors will tell you all sorts of things which are all good ideas. The problem is that everything is interdependent and really it all has to come together, yet you can't think about it all at once. So each evening you need to think about your runs and what you're doing and what you're having trouble with and figure out what is the best order in which you need to concentrate on different pieces of advice.
post #44 of 47
Just one more word on the time it takes to learn:

My view is that most people are overly concerned with getting technique down on easier runs before moving on to harder ones. If you want to learn quickly, you have to just ski harder runs long before you've mastered the easier ones. This will simply force you to have better form, and give you much stronger feedback on what's bad form than any instructor can. If you have bad form, you get rewarded with a close look at the snow. It's like they say with distance running: if you have bad form, speed up for a while. This will teach you where you're inefficient.

It's true that this approach will also inevitably ingrain some bad habits into your skiing. You'll do things for survival that work but then have to be unlearned to progress at a later stage. But you will learn faster this way.
post #45 of 47
This is what you do... Put your wife in that program. Then, at the funeral someone doing the eulogy can say what a great skier she was. ......... jk
post #46 of 47
Hi Cayenne,

I just skimmed most of this thread and have a few comments:

* The originally story was about a 10 year old child. Kids learn by playing. Their cognitive development - ei: fear - is way less developed than their motivation for fun. Also Europeans take ski instruction to a much higher level than we do here in the States.

* I didn't read anything regarding off hill preparation or continuing exercise.

Bob Peter's comments are well heeded. If your wife meets the criteria a good instructor (as mentioned by Rusty) for a lengthy time is the best way to go. Albeit very expensive. Have you checked out any of the plethora of training camps around the world - summer as well?

Good learning is about lots of mileage and some correction. Either self correction or with the aide of a professional. There are many ways to deal with this off the hill. Cross training - blading among other exercises, is a great way to keep the experience alive. Cycling, especially on varying terrain as well.

The methods are limited only by your imagination and ingenuity. Intrinsically humans have all the experience and knowledge to move forward. Motivation and money are usually the limiting factors.

Good luck
post #47 of 47

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